Commission launches public consultation on review of the EU marketing standards for agricultural products

Commission launches public consultation on review of the EU marketing standards for agricultural products

Today, the Commission launched a public consultation, which aims to gather views on policy options for a possible revision of the EU marketing standards for agricultural products. The consultation addresses in particular the potential of marketing standards to increase the supply of sustainable products and to streamline the current legislation. The consultation is open for 12 weeks, from 8 June to 31 August 2021.

The consultation targets operators in the food supply chain such as producers, traders, retailers, and their associations, consumers, civil society organisations and national authorities.

Announced in the Farm to fork strategy, the review follows an overall evaluation process of the EU marketing standards laid down in the common market organisation, the ‘breakfast directives’ and Commission acts.

Background

Marketing standards establish the quality of products that are marketed to consumers through mandatory rules or optional reserved terms. They rely on technical product specifications to define uniform trade characteristics. For agricultural products, this covers freshness or size classification, presentation, labelling, packaging etc., but product specifications may also touch upon process and production methods. Marketing standards set minimum quality requirements for products that are traded and sold to consumers and specify the characteristics of products that are sold using specific terms (e.g. ‘free range’ for poultry products).

The ‘breakfast directives’ are a number of Directives establishing rules on description, definition, characteristics and labelling of a number of agricultural and food products usually consumed for breakfast, hence the name.

Adopted in May 2020 by the Commission, the Farm to fork strategy aims to accelerate our transition to sustainable food systems. It includes the objective for marketing standards ‘to ensure the uptake and supply of sustainable products’.

Related links

Review of EU marketing standards for agricultural products

Market measures

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